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39 Resistance Band Exercises to Tone Every Inch

Upper Body | Lower Body | Abs 

 

These resistance band exercises will give you a total body workout, toning and strengthening from every inch. They’re simple moves you can take anywhere, whether you’re at the gym or working out at home.

Benefits of Resistance Bands:

  • You can train anywhere. Resistance bands are lightweight and take up almost no space at all — perfect for home gyms or traveling.

  • They provide resistance during the positive and negative movements of each exercise — making each exercise even more challenging.

  • They’re extremely cost-effective and inexpensive — at no more than $15 each, they’re great to add to a home gym.

  • Perfect for every fitness level — bands come in a variety of resistances, including light, medium and heavy, making them great for the beginner to the most advanced exerciser.

We put together 39 of the best resistance band exercises to help you get going. Pick and choose a few exercises to create a whole new workout, or add a few exercises in based on the muscles you’re training that day to get all the benefits of resistance bands.

Upper Body

Push Ups

Push Ups

Start on your hands and knees, and wrap a resistance band around your upper back, just across the shoulder blades. Run the bands under your hands so that the palms press the tubing into the floor, and step back into a full plank position. Perform your push ups and make sure there is tension on the band the entire time, and that it doesn’t go slack at the bottom of the movement. Complete 10-20 repetitions.

Standing Chest Press

Standing with good posture and your feet hip distance apart, wrap the band around your upper back, across your shoulder blades, and hold onto the tubing of the band. With the arms bent at 90 degrees and hands at shoulder height with palms down, press the arms out in front of you. (Think of these as “standing push ups”!) Complete 15 repetitions.

Lying Chest Press

Just as the above two exercises, wrap the band across your shoulder blades, this time lying down with the band across your back. Holding onto the tubing, press your arms up towards the ceiling, as if you were doing a bench press. With control, lower back down to a 90 degree bend in the elbows, and always make sure to keep tension on that band. Complete 15 repetitions.

Overhead press

Overhead Press

Hold the handles of the resistance band in each hand and stand with the middle of the resistance band under the arches of your feet. Bring your arms up so that your elbows are shoulder height and bent at 90 degrees, with your palms facing front. Press the resistance band overhead, making sure not to arch the lower back. Bring your arms back to that 90 degree position before repeating 15 times.

Forward Raise

Keeping the resistance band under the arches of the feet, hold the resistance band handles (or choke up onto the tubing if needed) with your palms facing towards you. Keeping the arms straight, but without locking the elbows, raise the arms in front of your to shoulder height. Focus on keeping the shoulders back and chest lifted in good posture. Control as you lower back down, and repeat 15 times.

Side Raise

Just as with forward raises, start with the resistance band under the arches of the feet. Stand holding the band with your palms facing in towards you, and this time raise the arms out to the to shoulder height. Lower down with control and repeat 15 times.

Upright Row

Upright Rows

Stand with the middle of the resistance band under the arches of the feet. Cross the straps in front of you making and “X”, and hold onto the handle or tubing. Keep your palms facing in towards you. Start to pull the band up, leading with the elbows, bringing them to shoulder height and lower back down. Think of relaxing your shoulders down your back and squeezing them together. Complete 15 repetitions.

Bicep Curls

Stand on the middle of the band and hold onto the handles with your palms facing forward. Keep the elbows glued in by your waistline as you bend the elbows to pull the handles up by your shoulders. Be sure to keep you shoulders back and stand with good posture. Lower the band back down and repeat 15 times.

Tricep Kickbacks

Start by standing in a lunge position with your RIGHT foot forward and the middle of the band under your RIGHT foot. Place your right hand or elbow on your front thigh, and hold the end of the resistance band in the LEFT hand. Row the elbow up so that your upper arm is parallel to the floor, and keep it steady as you extend the arm back straight, engaging the back of the arm. Keep the upper arm steady as you bend it back to the “row position”. Repeat 15 times before switching sides.

Overhead Tricep Extensions

Tricep Extensions

Stand with feet hip distance apart and place the resistance band under your RIGHT foot, holding the resistance band handle in your RIGHT hand. Bring the band up above the shoulder, with your elbows up by your ear, and reach your hand over your shoulder. Keep the upper arm steady as you extend straight up to the ceiling, using the back of the arm. Lower back down, keeping the upper arm steady. Repeat 15 times, and then switch to the other side.

Bent Over Rows

Place the band under the arch of your RIGHT foot and step your left foot back into a small lunge. Bend your torso over so that it’s almost parallel to the floor. You may need to choke up on the bands a bit to find the right position, you’ll want them to be taut when your arms are extended straight. Leading with your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades together to pull the bands up. Lower back down and repeat 15-20 times.

Band Pulls

Band Pulls

Choke up onto the tubing of the band so that there is resistance when your arms are shoulder width apart. Bring your arms to shoulder height, and relax the shoulders down your back. Begin by squeezing the shoulder blades together as you pull the arms out to the side in a “T” position. With control, bring the arms back to shoulder width. Complete 15 repetitions.

Seated Row

Have a seat on your mat or the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Wrap the resistance band around your feet, making sure to “hook” in the arch of your shoes. Hold onto the handles or the tubing as you pull your elbows back and squeeze the shoulder blades together, bringing your hands by your waistline. Think of sitting up as tall as you can and be careful the band doesn’t snap up from your feet. Complete 15 repetitions.

Lying Pull Over

Wrap the band around a pole or something very sturdy in a low position. Lay on your back and hold onto the handles. Position yourself far enough away to have tension on the band for the whole movement. Start with the arms reaching overhead, and then use the upper back muscles to pull the arms down by your side. Bring your arms back overhead with control, and repeat 15 times.

Lat Pulldown

Anchor and wrap the band around a horizontal bar overhead. Hold onto the handles or tubing and make sure to have tension on the band when your arms are fully extended upwards. Engage the back muscles and squeeze the shoulder blades down and together to pull the band down, bending the elbows. Complete 15 repetitions.

Bent Over Delt Flys

Place the center of the band under the arches of the feet, and hold onto the band with your arms almost straight, but slightly rounded, and palms facing in. Keep the arms in the in the same slightly rounded position as your squeeze your shoulder blades together to open the arms out the the side in a “flying” position, and then lower back down to repeat 15 times.

Seated Overhead Pulls

Seated Overhead Pull

Have a seat and loop the band around the arches of your feet, holding the handles. Keep your toes pointed to ensure the band stays in place and doesn’t spring up (you can tie the band low around a pole as well). Hold your arms out in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing down. Draw the shoulder blades down your back as you lift your arms up towards the ceiling, forming a “Y” shape at the top. Control as you lower your arms back to shoulder height and repeat 15 times.

Lower Body

Squats

Stand with the resistance band under the arches of the feet, and hold onto the handles, bringing them up to shoulder height in front of you. Squat down as if you were sitting back into a chair, keeping the weight in your heels, and then engage your glutes and hamstrings to press back up to standing. Complete 15-20 repetitions.

Lunges

Bring your feet to a lunge stance with your RIGHT foot forward. Place the resistance band under your RIGHT foot and hold onto the handle or choke up on the band. Lower down into a lunge with the knees bent at about 90 degrees, and then press through the front heel to straighten the legs. Repeat 15 times, and then switch sides.

Good Mornings

Good Mornings

Place the handles under the arches of your feet and carefully loop the resistance band around your neck. Keep your back straight with your abs pulled tight as you hinge at your hips (as if doing a deadlift), and then engage the back of the legs to straighten back up to standing. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Lateral Band Walks

Place the band under the arches of your feet, and cross the handles in front of you, making an “X.” Slightly pull on the bands to add some resistance. Keeping your feet parallel to each other, step the RIGHT foot out to the RIGHT, and then with control, step the LEFT foot over to meet it. Take 10-15 steps to the RIGHT, and then “walk” back to the LEFT the same amount of steps.

Hydrants

Starting on all-fours, place the looped band around your shins or ankles. Keep the abs tight as you open your RIGHT knee out to the side as your squeeze your glutes and outer thigh. Your knee does not have to lift high, but be sure to keep the shin parallel to the floor. Lower back down with control and repeat for 10-15 repetitions, and then switch sides.

Kickbacks

Start on your mat and hold onto the handles of your band. Wrap the band under the arch of your RIGHT foot, engage your abs and obliques as you slightly shift your weight to the LEFT, but keep your hips steady. Leading with the heel, press the RIGHT leg back so that it is parallel to the floor or just slightly higher. With control, bring the knee back in and repeat 15-20 times. Switch legs once you complete all repetitions on the right.

Kick Ups

Starting on all-fours on your mat, place the looped resistance band around the tops of the arches of your feet. Flex your RIGHT foot and slightly shift your weight into your left side. Engage your abs as your kick your RIGHT heel up towards the ceiling, bringing the thigh parallel to the floor. With control, lower the knee back down and repeat 10-15 times without allowing weight into the right side. Repeat on the left side.

Bridge Clam Shell Combo

Hold in a glute bridge (described above), making sure the knees aren’t touching. Without changing the position of your feet, slightly open your knees a few inches further apart, squeezing the glutes and outer thighs. With control, bring the knees back in hip distance apart, but don’t let them touch. Repeat 15 times, never letting those knees touch.

Standing Abductors

Standing Abductors

Place the center of the band under the arches of your feet and cross the band in front of you to make and “X”. Hold onto the handles, and start with your feet hip distance apart. Shift your weight slightly in to your LEFT leg as you lift the RIGHT leg slightly off the floor. Use the outer thigh of the RIGHT leg to press the leg out to the side, and bring it back in with control. Repeat 10-15 times before switching to the left side.

Standing Abductors

Anchor the resistance band to a pole or something very sturdy, and stand next to the anchor point sideways. Wrap the band around your ankle furthest from the anchor point. Keep your abs steady and brace through your core as you pull the leg with the band out to the side, using the outer hip. Control as your bring the leg back in and repeat 10-15 times before switching sides.

Standing Kickbacks

Anchor the band down low in a doorway, pole or something sturdy. Place your RIGHT foot into the handles or wrap the band around the ankle. Stand on your supporting LEFT leg, as you bend your RIGHT knee, bringing the foot slightly off the ground. Kick the RIGHT leg back behind you, straightening as you extend back and squeezing your glutes. Bring your leg back down and repeat without lowering the leg all the way to the ground. Complete 15 repetitions on each leg.

Standing Leg Extensions (or Straight Leg Kickback)

Just as with the kickbacks above, set up with the band anchored to something sturdy. Wrap the band around your RIGHT ankle, and standing steady on the LEFT leg. Extend the leg back behind you, keeping it straight the entire time, and squeezing the glute at the back. Come back to your starting position without lowering the leg down, and repeat 15 times on each leg.

Lying Hamstring Curls

Connect the band to something sturdy and lie on your stomach, wrapping the band around one or both ankles. Start with the legs straight, and then engage the backs of the legs to bend the knees and pull your heels in towards your glutes. Control as your straighten your legs back out, and repeat 15-20 times.

Lying Adductor Pull Overs

Abductor:Adductor Cross Overs

Hold onto both handles of the band in your RIGHT hand as you place your RIGHT foot into the loop of the band. Lay on your back and extend your RIGHT arm out to the side in a “T” shape position, and extend the RIGHT leg up to the ceiling. Use the inner thigh of the RIGHT leg to pull it over towards the LEFT and cross over the body. Complete 10-15 repetitions on the RIGHT side, and then switch to the left.

Abs & Core

Kneeling Crunch

Hook the resistance band to the top of a doorway, or wrap it high around a pole or something sturdy. Hold a handle in each hand, and lower down onto a mat on your knees. Bend the elbows to bring the handles by your shoulders, keeping the elbows in by your waistline. As you are kneeling, engage the abs to crunch your torso down. Lift and extend the torso back up to repeat 10-15 times.

Wood Choppers

Wrap the resistance band around a pole at about your own shoulder height. Stand sideways next to the anchor point with your LEFT shoulder closest to the anchor. Clasp your hands together, holding both handles. Keep your hips steady and your abs engaged as you pull the band away from the anchor point, rotating through the torso. Bring back to center, and repeat 10-15 times before switching sides.

Standing Oblique Twist

Standing Oblique Twist

With the band under your feet, cross the resistance band in front of you, making an “X” and hold onto the handles. Row only the RIGHT arm up, in an upright row, and as you pull the hand up towards the shoulder, twist to the RIGHT, using the obliques. Make sure to keep the hips steady and pointing forward. Repeat for 15 repetitions, then switch sides.

Bicycles

Sitting on your mat, place your feet through the handles so that they lay over the arches of your feet. Lift your feet to about 45 degrees off the ground as you roll back slightly onto your sacrum, and balance by engaging your abs. Bring the RIGHT knee into your chest, and then bicycle the legs, focusing on the lower abs. Complete 20 repetitions total.

Scissors

Lay on your back and place the handles around the arches of your feet, holding onto the middle part of the tubing. Bring your legs straight up, and lift your head and shoulders off the ground into a crunch position. Lower the RIGHT leg down to hover above the ground and scissor the legs to bring the LEFT leg down. Continue scissoring the legs for 20 repetitions (or 10 on each side).

Plank with T Rotation

Plank T-Rotation

Come down into a full plank on a mat or on the floor, holding onto your band. Choke up on the resistance band and position your weight more in your LEFT hand as you pull the band up into a side plank “T” position. Lower back down to your plank and repeat. Complete 10-15 repetitions, and then switch sides.

Standing Side Crunch

Standing Oblique Crunch

Start standing with the resistance band under the arches of your feet. Hold the handles and bring your RIGHT hand up to 90 degree bend, as if in a goalpost position. Press your arm up overhead, and lean to the LEFT as you squeeze through the LEFT side obliques. With control lower unbend to the starting position, and repeat. Complete 10-15 repetitions on the RIGHT side, then switch to the left.

Leg Lowers

Start by laying on your back with the band looped around the arches of your feet and your lower abs engaged to straighten your legs to the ceiling. Keeping your lower abs tight, lower your legs down to a 45 degree angle to the floor and use your abs to lift the legs back up. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Leg Extensions

Ab Leg Exetensions

Lay on your back with the band looped around the arches of your feet, knees bent in towards your chest, and holding the handles in both hands. Engage your lower abs and press through your feet to straighten the legs. Keeping the lower abs tight, bend the knees back in and repeat for 15 repetitions.